The banks' discussion on digitisation: Lithuania must take advantage of becoming an e-service friendly state


Association of Lithuanian Banks (LBA) conducted the conference Challenges and Opportunities of Digitisation. The conference participants have admitted that though "the situation in the Lithuanian banking sector recently is as stable as never before" the banks are still facing a number of challenges such as stricter regulations, development of electronic services, database usage,  a new generation of consumers raised in a digital environment, and  development of intelligent technologies, etc. 

A number of representatives of the banks operating in Lithuania and business enterprises  as well as heads of the state intuitions, members of the Government and the Seimas came to the event.  Opening the conference, Stasys Kropas, the President of the LBA highlighted digitisation as one of the most important changes the banking sector would be facing in the nearest future.  This topic was prevailing at the round table discussions participated by representatives from  Šiaulių bankas, Danske Bank, Swedbank, Nordea, SEB, Citadele and DNB bank as well as by representatives of Lithuanian Central Credit Union. 

"In order to make a breakthrough in the field of electronic services an official strategic approach to the cyber space including critical infrastructure should appear in Lithuania.  We ought to think about the future and take courageous decisions if we want to benefit from the modern and efficient electronic services. This requires a proactive involvement of the state, business and all citizens," - said Chief Executive Officer of Šiaulių Bankas Vytautas Sinius.

E-banking has reached certain maturity and the new and more convenient technologies offer a greater variety of functionalities in line with a mobile banking breakthrough.  According to the statistics in 2015 electronic services were used by 44 per cent of all Lithuanian residents or by 60 per cent of the national Internet users which was by 30 per cent more than two years ago.  In 2016, even one-fifth of Lithuanian residents used to buy on-line while five years ago this figure was less than 6 per cent. The number of on-line banking users exceeded 4 million this year. 

Much attention in the discussion was paid to a comfortable, secure and unified electronic identification, interaction of authorities' databases as well as importance and possibilities of fair access. The personal identification projects currently being developed by several banks were also briefly discussed.

The entrance into force of the new Payment Services Directive  including the associated risks as well as  future responsibilities of the financial institutions were also widely discussed.  The banks emphasized that implementation of this Directive must carried out along with properly balanced responsibility for incidents incurred providing payment services if third parties have access the customer's accounts.

The conference commemorated the extraordinary LBA date - it was dedicated to 25th anniversary of the Association of Lithuanian Banks.